In all the project has engaged around 300 young people to deliver 11 campaigns, and was supported by Parliamentary Outreach at the Houses of Parliament, which works to promote the role, relevance and function of Parliament in people's lives today. Young people identified what they wanted to work on and with the help of artists were able to express their thoughts through film, animation, theatre, dance and art exhibitions. The work was then disseminated and shared with MPs, schools, libraries, museums and shopping centres. These campaigns will have a lasting impact on opportunities for and attitudes towards young disabled people in the South East and around the world.
Examples of campaigns included working with Sign Dance Collective, to produce a piece of sign dance communicating the young people’s ideas and values. Over 100 deaf and disabled young people collaborated to form the ideas for this campaign which involved performances at a shopping centre in Folkestone and an arts centre in High Wycombe.
Halow Project (a charity focused on working with young people with learning needs) built a campaign around the issues and questions relating to finding meaningful paid work as someone with a learning disability or learning need and worked with an animation artist, Craig Hills, to make a film.
Square Pegs was an inclusive Drama Group in Maidstone specifically aimed at young people with communication needs and learning disabilities. The group felt there was not enough support or funding for groups like Square Pegs to start up and the project helped them create a campaign to communicate their feelings to a panel of MPs, peers and staff members at Parliament in 2011. 20 young people from Square Pegs were involved with 30 in the partner group Perspektiva, from Russia, producing a short music video which is now part of the on-line legacy.
Many young people have developed significantly as a result of the opportunities arising from the project, including Hillie Thomason. Hillie was one of the young people involved in the Campaign! project at Arbour Vale School. She became the Campaign! ‘Our View Rep’ and attended events at Channel 4 and the Houses of Parliament. She produced a film about the project, linking up with campaigns in other schools to interview the students and artists involved.
Said Hillie: ‘I enjoy being an Our View Rep, I got to help people who are different; I want to help other people whenever I can. It doesn’t matter if you are disabled or blind, because we are all as one. I remember when I started school I couldn't talk, so thank you to everyone who helped me get stronger and confident in this project.’
‘Hillie's confidence has developed massively throughout her time as an Our View Rep. When I first met Hillie two years ago she wouldn't speak to me and last week I watched her talk about her experiences in front of nearly 100 people.’ Added Rachel Sear, Project Leader
Delivered by Creative Junction, Campaign! was also part of another initiative called Create, Compete and Collaborate (CCC). Campaign! leaves a legacy of young people with broadened horizons, new skills, and enhanced global awareness and connectedness. By actively promoting the Olympic values of ‘excellence, respect and friendship’, the project broadened the international outlook of young people in the region and encouraged in their development the qualities of openness, understanding, enquiry, equality and cooperation.
Accentuate projects have been collecting examples of how their work is having an impact. Whether this is the personal experience of an individual, or the influence Accentuate projects have had on organisations. Click the link to view the case studies.